Annabelle went down around 4:30ish. Plan was that it would take at least 3 hours to prep her, and heart would arrive sometimes after 7. The surgeon left to go get the heart around that same time.

Upon the insistence of my family, we went and ate dinner, since the first part of the equation is prepping her.

Many have asked time frames… and the answer to that is a big resounding, “It depends.”

But to give a general idea and approximates (but keep in mind they also told us we’d go to the OR at noon and that was 4 hours off…)

3 hours in the OR to prep (Includes getting lines in, putting her to sleep, intubating her, opening her up, and getting her ready for the heart.)

They error on the side of being ready early, so there is a good chance they will be ready with her open a little before the heart gets here (there is only so long they have to get the heart in, so she HAS to be ready when it gets here…. they try to error on the side of caution and be ready early)

Once they get the heart, it should take about an hour or more to get it in.

In all, they say most heart transplants are around 4 to 6 hours long.  They anticipate Annabelle’s to take 6-7 hours since she has had prior surgeries thus has a lot of scar tissue, as well as that they have to reconstruct some inlets/outlets since she was a previous Norwood heart.

BUT… there are SO many factors that could make it quicker or could make it much longer.

Regardless, it’s going to be a late night.

We got an update at around 6:15 that they had her lines in, she was put to sleep, and were starting the incision.

They will update every hour or two during the process, or when something big happens.

I, in turn, will update here for big updates… twitter for smaller ones.

THANK YOU so much for your prayers!!! Just knowing that everyone is lifting my Annabelle up in prayer today brings peace to my heart tonight. God is with my Annabelle and the surgeon right now and is overseeing everything from his perfect vantage point.



  1. Thanks for the update, Krista.
    I'm praying for you all.

  2. oh, Krista, I am praying for you guys tonight…praying for your sweet girl and that God would guide the hands of the surgeons, the doctors, the nurses…everyone who touches Annabelle. Complete and total wholeness in jesus' name.

  3. Oh, Krista! I've been praying for her all day. I know so many others have as well. I'm praying for peace for you throughout the surgery and health and safety for your sweet little girl. Mostly, I just thank God for holding her in his hands through the whole thing.

  4. Krista, I was praying for her this morning and all I could see was angels surrounding her, looking down and smiling. That little girl is COVERED!

  5. I will be praying for you, your family and sweet Annabelle. My husband (31 year old congenital patient) just got hone from open heart surgery, and my heart has been deeply touched by those in CV-ICU. May the Lord surround you during this time and may His will be done!

    Irving, TX

  6. Thank you for coming back and updating us, Krista. I can't imagine what this is like for you. Your perfect trust is so inspiring.

  7. Oh Krista, I know the agony of those 1-2 hour waits for any updates. Praying, praying like crazy that the Lord sustains you through it all.

  8. God's got this Krista! You are such a strong woman and Annabelle will have the most awesome testimony to share when she gets old enough! I'm so thankful she is getting her heart!

  9. Praise the Lord. Thank you father for being with Annabelle and her family
    Thank you for hearing our prayers were 2-3 agree it is finished. She is healed and protected by you. Anoint the doctors hands and Annabell. Keep mommie and daddy in your arms while we pray.

  10. Thank you so much for the updates! Thinking of you guys, praying hard – and staying glued for updates!!! xoxo

  11. Krista, I am praying for your little girl, you and your whole family! God is good and will see you through this! Much love to you all…

  12. I will be praying for you guys tonight.

  13. Thanks for sharing Annabelle with all of us! She's become very special to so many people. We are all lifting her, the surgeons, nurses, techs, your family, & the family of the donor heart up in prayer all day today, tonight & tomorrow. What a testimony to of God's grace!!

  14. Thanks for the updates. Our family is praying fervently. Annabelle was a big topic at the dinner table tonight. Praising God for his healing and provision!

  15. My friend Kimberly was referring to our crit group (which is scattered across the country). She said, "Love how when we pray for each other, it's like a Verizon map lighting up the whole country." Girl, that map is absolutely GLOWING for Annabelle tonight!

  16. I will be praying. I am so excited that Annabelle is getting her heart. I have been praying for her and following your posts for quite a while now. You are an amazing mom and you have an amazing family!

    Autumn (Lashmit) Buck

  17. He can do exceedingly abundantly more than we ask for or can imagine! Praying….

  18. Thanks for taking time to post an update, Krista. Since I'm in CA, it's still early evening, so I'll be awake for several hours yet and lifting prayers for your princess, every member of her medical team, and those of you enduring the l-o-n-g wait.

  19. I'm praying Krista.
    God bless you all.

  20. Krista!, I just heard. Praying for your family and sweet Annabelle!

  21. Thanks for the update, Krista. Still praying.

  22. Micah and Jennifer R.

    Krista, so great to hear that Annabelle gets a heart! 🙂 That being said, we have been praying for you ever since we heard about you through the Hammitt's, and will continue to pray as Annabelle is in surgery and for the recovery afterward. God bless!

    Micah and Jennifer

  23. Thank you, Jesus. Praying!!!!

  24. We have a saying at seattle childrens that the hearts always come in 3's. My daughter got her new heart on march 24th now Annabelle is getting hers. Wow all I can say is God is good and to never give up faith. It will be such a shock to see her after she gets her new heart, they look so pink and fantastic.

  25. I'm sooo excited for you all!! I can't believe it's heart day! YAY! I am praying for Annabelle's perfect little heart, and that everything goes well. She is in God's hands and I'm praying for you all and all families involved.

  26. Continuing to pray for all of you.

  27. Prayers, prayers, and more prayers!

  28. We are all praying for Anabelle and your whole family. May God give you strength and peace.

    Desi Johnson

  29. Praying for little Annabelle!

  30. I've been following your blog for several months. While I have not posted on here before, I have been praying for all of you. I am so glad to hear it is heart day for you all. I know how hard the waiting is during the surgery. My dad had a heart transplant 21 years ago and I still remember that long night spent at the hospital while he was in surgery. Praying for Annabelle and your family right now. I'm also praying for the surgeons and nurses also and for her recovery. Our God is definitely an awesome God!

  31. My husband and I are sending prayers up.

  32. Sending prayers from California. I have been following your blog after linking to it from Bowen's Heart. Three weeks ago today I was praying for my 23 year old cousin as she was in the same spot your Annabelle is in now except at Stanford. She was born with CHD-Shone syndrome. She got her heart 3 weeks ago, was discharged to an apartment near the hospital on post-op day 9, and actually got to go to a family member's wedding today. I am praying that Annabelle has this same success. God is soooo awesome! He is always in control!

  33. Praying for Annabelle, you, your sweet family, the surgeons, other doctors, and nurses attending, the donor family, and your circle of support. Found you through Matt Hammitt's twitter and enjoyed getting caught up on Annabelle's story through your blog.
    Jesus *is* the Prince of Peace and I know He is holding Annabelle right now and leading you gently through this surgery. Isaiah 40:11

  34. Praying and Thanking God for holding your sweetheart in his arms throughout the whole thing (and always!) and guiding her surgeons hands to perform his best work. So excited for you guys!

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